Skip to main content

Historical documents

245 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 81 NANKING, 22 February 1949, 4.30 p.m.


Your telegram No. 30 [1]

I reported in my telegram No. 71 [2] the reluctance of the Acting
President to express any opinion at present and Sun Fo's support
of the proposition. As Sun is a very lukewarm supporter of
negotiation, his attitude is more calculated to embarrass the
efforts of the Acting President than to help them.

2. The only response from the Communist side was in a broadcast
from North Shensi on 13th February. It was against any mediation
or intervention. But as these broadcasts are for propaganda
purposes mainly, I am waiting in hope of getting some clearer
indication of the real views of the Communist leaders. Such can
come only by very indirect ways which take time.

3. The Acting President's efforts to open negotiations are at a
very delicate stage.

His personal emissaries in Peking are believed to be on the point
of making direct contact with Mao Tse Tung. Shao Li Tse, the
Acting President's chief emissary, is said to be 'somewhat
optimistic'. But there are strong influences at work to wreck
negotiations (see Lee's telegram No. C4, paragraph 3) and it would
be very easy to do so.

4. I think that it is best to make no move for the moment but to
allow time for Li Tsung Jen to work on the lines he thinks best.

If he appeared to be faced by failure the time would be ripe
probably for a fresh suggestion.

1 Dispatched 21 February, it expressed surprise that officer had
made no mention of Minister's suggestion on mediation or possible
response from other party.

2 Document 244.

[AA:1838/2, 490/1, iii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top